Question 22

22. What synchronous (real-time) tools (e.g. video, audio or chat) did you use to link your classrooms and/or your students?

If you used multiple tools, what was the approximate percentage students spent using each of these tools?


Approximately 3 out of every 4 class sessions were held jointly via videoconference.

Because of time zone differences, our students did not work synchronously.

Blackboard collaborate / ULPGC : 2 synchronous sessions were scheduled (see the COIL Log). The tool was Blackboard Collaborate, the tool used at the ESC. The first session was scheduled during ESC student’s regular real time online class requirement, this mean at 7.00 pm in New York and midnight in Las Palmas. ULPGC students logged in during their free (and night) time, on a voluntary basis. Nonetheless, almost all ULPGC students participated in the 2 sessions.

ClassLivePro is the synchronous audio class meeting tool used through Ecollege, as detailed above. / Students used the e-college system for posting their discussion threads and evolving drafts. They used Skype for partner-to-partner discussions.

In the spring 2012 iteration we conducted one class-to-class session during Week 2 using Adobe Connect, an RIT-supported technology, and one session at the end of the class using Skype, which RIT does not official support. In the middle of this class we did attempt to conduct synchronous bibliographic instruction using RIT’s “Access Grid” (a.k.a. Internet2), which is intended mostly for research communication. Alas, attempting to stream instruction from RIT’s Wallace Center librarians with students at RIT and ACMT participating actively proved fruitless. For the one-to-one interviews and peer review sessions, students could use any synchronous technology they wanted to use, though the majority used Skype.

Skype videoconference and adobe connect.

Skype was the major tool for synchronous communication between the classrooms.  We purchased equivalent cameras and microphones for both classes to use.

Skype was used for facilitating communication for work on collaborative projects and for combined real time class meetings between the UC and the UDLAP students.  Video tutorials were provided for students unfamiliar with setting up a Skype account, and UC students were required to post their Skype addresses to the class Discussion Board.  /  UC and UDLAP also held two combined synchronous meetings via Skype.  While UC’s class was completely online, all the students were local and they gathered physically at Anne’s offices to Skype with the UDLAP students during their regularly scheduled class time. / It’s hard to estimate the time students might have used Skype to collaborate on their projects.  That might make a good question on our end of course evaluation.  Each Skype session between the two full classes lasted around an hour.

Skype, D2L:  SJSU students spent about 15-20 minutes of class time in chat.  Additionally, some, but not all spent more time chatting individually with KGU students, however, the instructor did not monitor that.    SJSU and KGU shared three SKYPE sessions.  The SJSU students spent 2 hours engaged with this activity.  Comparatively, Japanese students spent between 40-50 minutes engaged with SKYPE, depending on whether or not there were technical problems.

Synchronous tools used included gmail video and chat, facebook video chat.  There was one assignment, a real time interview, which required them to use synchronous tools.  After testing various tools such as Skype, gmail video and facebook, most students conducted their interviews through gmail video which proved to be the most efficient.

The two primary synchronous tools we used were Skype and FaceTime.  The decision of which video resource to utilize depended on technological compatibility.  Skype tended to be the more frequently used tool.  On occasions when we had joint presentations or guest speakers we used video conferencing. The percentage was 75% Skype and FaceTime and 25% video conferencing.

Video (posted to VIMEO) for Module 3 / Team leaders set up Skype meetings, but how many students participated in these (they reported difficulty in getting all of the students together for a Skype meeting at one time).  But we think that this module DOES work for teamwork--it’s just that we threw this at the students with little time for them to schedule their meetings, learn the topic (outsourcing), and prepare their pitch. / We had planned to use web-casting for the expert consultancy phase, but instead used an asynchronous discussion board.  It worked out well, but we would likely use webcasting if we teach this course again in Fall 2013.

Video conferencing facilities on each campus: 70%/ Was used during the real-time video conferences to gather student text-based comments and questions. 30%

We did not use synchronous tools, because of the time difference between our countries. The instructors used SKYPE regularly (weekly when possible) to chat and check in about the progress of our courses.

We explored three communication tools, skype, webex and google hangout. We used webex for the first two sessions. Also, skype was added from the second session because we realized that we need to use two kinds of communication tools from two computers in order to show both presentation slides and the presenters' faces simultaneously in such a size that everyone can see them clearly in the classrooms. After that, the first group-unit synchronous session was done by skype since the use of webex was limited to only faculty at that time.  However, skype is free only between two parties and it cannot show 3-4 people's faces at the same time. Thus, for the rest of the three synchronous sessions, we switched to a new communication tool, google hangout, which enables us to talk with 10 people at the same time for free showing their faces. Gladly, the suggestion was made by a SJSU student in his journal after the first group-unit synchronous session.

We had 5 video conferences.

We had four class-to-class videoconferences. To conduct these conferences we used the Tandberg Edge 95 System to connect. According to a campus technology specialist, Bill Meyers, “It is an IP based system and if set up for DHCP could basically plug into any network port on campus to be ready to make a connection.  It uses the H.323 protocol, and can handle up to a 2 Mbps connection.”  We chose to use this system rather than using Skype to connect due to success we have had with it in previous videoconferences. / Students were given access to SUNY Geneseo’s Skype Premium account in order to conduct a team meeting in Module 4 of the course. The purpose of this meeting was to provide students with the opportunity to offer feedback to one another in a face-to-face and small-group, setting.

We primarily used Skype for synchronous activities.

We spent several weeks before the beginning of the American semester attempting to find a software platform that could both (1) provide advanced facilities such as simultaneous  multiple screens, and (2) be successfully integrated with both the American and the German university systems. However, the technical staffs of the two universities could not agree on the suitability of a specific software - each basically claimed that they used the standard software and that the other university should follow suit. This impasse was frustrating for us, but we found no solution to that problem. So eventually we gave that up and just used Skype for video and audio.

We used video conferencing (polycom system) for 7 synchronous class meetings.

We videoconferenced twice during each collaboration.  The first time that we ever videoconferenced we scheduled our meeting for one hour.  After our initial meeting our students complained that this was not enough time.  We then increased our meeting times to an hour and a half and sometimes they extended as long as two hours because the conversation was lively and exciting. / Despite the rather archaic nature of video conferencing, students respond well to seeing each other in the `flesh’ In fact with each collaboration, the students always ask for more time to video conference!